Elder Abuse Alert: Is Your Caregiving Agency Sending Dangerous or Unqualified Caregivers Into Your Home?

A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society reports that many home health care agencies fail to conduct background checks, criminal checks, drug testing or other screenings on caregivers before sending them into clients’ homes.

“Consumers need to be aware that they may not be getting the safe, qualified caregiver they expect” from home health care agencies, says lead study author Lee Lindquist, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

To conduct the study, university researchers posed as consumers seeking a caregiver for an older adult relative. The researchers interviewed representatives from 180 agencies in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Agencies were asked about their hiring methods, screening measures, training practices, skill competencies assessments, and supervision of employees.

As an example of dangerous caregiving practices she has observed, Lindquist said that she had a 103-year-old patient whose illiterate caregiver was mistakenly giving her own medications to the patient. Another Lindquist patient had dropped 10 percent of her weight and developed pressure ulcers because her caregiver was not feeding her properly or getting her out of bed.

Reputable home health care agencies always conduct background checks and criminal checks on their employee caregivers before sending them into your home.

Cleansing Water, Inc. screens every CNA and caregiver carefully to verify that they have appropriate education, experience, licensing and other qualifications before we hire them or send them into a client’s home. Moreover, we only hire employees who demonstrate qualities of lovingkindness and compassion that are so important for the well-being and peace of mind of our clients. When you entrust your loved one’s care to Cleansing Water, Inc., you can be assured that they will be safe and cared for responsibly, professionally, and lovingly.

How do you know if a home health care agency is a good one?

We recommend that family members read this article to see which questions you should ask before retaining a home health care agency to provide in-home caregiving for your parent or other loved one.

For Professional, Trustworthy Home Caregiving Services

Call Cleansing Water, Inc., for more information about our CNA and companion caregiving services.

Toll-free number: (866) 294-4665
Local calls: (540) 341-0212
Email: Send us a message through our website.


Lindquist, L. A., Cameron, K. A., Messerges-Bernstein, J., Friesema, E., Zickuhr, L., Baker, D. W. and Wolf, M. (2012), Hiring and Screening Practices of Agencies Supplying Paid Caregivers to Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60: 1253–1259. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.04047.x

Journal of the American Geriatric Society – study abstract, July 13, 2012

Dangerous Caregivers

Huffington Post article.